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Virgin Holidays’ The Departure Beach in Barbados is just what it sounds like: a Virgin Atlantic lounge on the beach. You won’t have to spend your last day in Barbados sequestered in an airport — this departure lounge bills itself as “the world’s first departure beach.” The concept might catch on with airlines that serve leisure markets like the Barbados, a frequent vacation destination from Britain. Virgin Atlantic flies from is capital Bridgetown to London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN)
It also isn’t like other lounges in that it’s open to people with a Virgin Holidays booking who pay to access, and to guests at some hotels, rather than to passengers with elite status.
Customers are retrieved by Virgin Holidays, the vacation arm of Virgin, at their hotel and transported to Brownes Beach in Carlisle Bay. Passengers’ luggage is taken directly to the airport. There are lockers available for passengers to keep their carry-ons in as well. The Departure Beach also offers flight check-in and boarding pass retrieval right on the beach. It’s pre-security check, unlike most airport lounges, so passengers need to go through security at the airport, after leaving the lounge.
According to Virgin Holidtys, passengers will be collected from the lounge in timely fashion to ensure they make their flight.
Following this, customers can relax and enjoy their last moments of Barbadian sunshine. The Departure Beach also provides towels, showering and changing facilities and an air-conditioned indoor lounge for those who want to stay dry.
Other features at The Departure Beach include free Wi-Fi, food, soft drinks and a kid’s area equipped with game consoles and plasma screens. Virgin Holiday staff members will be stationed on and around the beach to ensure you get to your flight on time and answer any last-minute questions you may have. The lounge is located on a public beach, so access to the facilities will only be permitted to people wearing a wristband.
Lastly, the lounge is only available to Virgin Holiday customers. Virgin Atlantic elite-status passengers or other rewards program participants are not eligible.
To book your Departure Beach experience, you must be a Virgin Holidays member. Entry for is £25 for adults and £18 for kids, though the price will fluctuate depending on season and availability. For customers staying at Savannah Beach, The Club Barbados Resort & Spa in Barbados or on a Virgin Holidays cruise that ends in Barbados, access to The Departure Beach is complimentary.
Update, 9/19: This article has been updated with additional information.
Featured Image by DEA / V. GIANNELLA via Getty Images
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